Officers and members of the Whitehouse FFA team participated in the 89th Texas FFA State Convention in Corpus Christi during the week of July 10. Abby Johnston, Rachel Clark, Ashley Rozell, Mason Shackelford, Leslie Hargis, Brittin Palmer, Shanna Sebring, Emmy Walley, Zacc Tolbert, and Alyssa Hurley left a day early for a team bonding experience at Schlitterbahn.
Sebring, Palmer, Tolbert and Hurley served as Courtesy Corp Members, or members who volunteer to help facilitate the convention.
On the first day of the convention, FFA groups from around the state went to the beach for Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle release where baby sea turtles took their first steps into the ocean. Following the release, the Whitehouse team picked up garbage along the beach for the Texas FFA Day of Service – Clean the Beach project. They found glass, cans, plastic, diapers, bottles, lids, cigarette butts and couch stuffing. After an hour and a half the team had cleared away garbage from a large section of the beach.
The first session of the convention kicked off July 11. Members watched the public speaking contest and participated in the first leadership workshop hosted by one of the National FFA Officers. The team learned that there is not just one type of student in the FFA, but that there is a place for everyone in the organization. The team created mottos to live by to help each other excel.
Delegates Hurley, Shackelford, Johnston, Walley, Hargis, Clark, Rozell and Tolbert voted for the Area 6 state officer representative for the 2017-18 team. New state officers were announced later in the week, and exiting officers gave retirement speeches throughout the convention.
During the business session the delegates made history by voting on amendments to the State FFA Constitution which included new rules to elect state officers.
At the convention, four members of Whitehouse FFA obtained their Lone Star Degree, the highest degree awarded at the state level. The recipients were senior Abby Johnston, and 2017 graduates Serria Parnell, Shelby Bailey, and Christian Garcia.
Whitehouse FFA was awarded the Golden Horizon Award. This award is given to chapters that are in the top 10 percent of all chapters in the state. Every activity and success that each individual FFA member participates in and achieves counts toward the award.
Students generated many ideas to improve the quality of the Whitehouse FFA chapter. Each student is excited for the upcoming year and the various opportunities offered through the FFA.